Being known as the land of love, it is only logical that the patron saint of lovers comes from Italy. Strongly associated with the festival of Valentine’s Day, San Valentino lived in Rome when the Empire was under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Legend has it that Claudius engaged Rome in several unpopular and bloody battles. To maintain a strong army, Claudius continuously needed to recruit soldiers. To his disappointment he found that most men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families. To resolve the problem Claudius banned all marriages and engagements. The priest, Basilio Valentino secretly married couples and defied this unjustified and callous order of Claudius. When the Emperor discovered this defiance, Valentino was beaten, jailed and finally executed on February 14, about 270 AD. For his great service, Valentino was named a saint after his death. In 498 AD, when Pope Gelasius decided to end the pagan celebration of the feast of Luperculia, he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day.